Friday, November 30, 2007

VOIP on the go

Today I was thinking...

why not doing a big change in the way I want to be reached (or reach people) while I am on the go:

right now I have the usual cellphone number + data plan for Internet access from my tablet/cellphone.

3 Italia has a pretty good deal right now: 19€ /month for 5Gb / month (over UMTS or HSDPA).
(It's 5Gb a week for businesses).
But it's a data plan ONLY. You can't make or receive calls on that SIM card (they give us a USB SIM modem with it) but you can send/receive text messages.

My idea is to DROP my cellphone number and to make the switch to VoIP only ON THE GO.

With SIP/Skype/GIZMO on the tablet this has plenty of advantages:

a) I can be reachable on several numbers at the same time: sometimes not really a good thing :P
b) I can get landlines numbers: many people have good deals on landlines numbers and they can be called usually for free
c) I can get location numbers: an italian number, an US number, a UK number, you name it
d) I can make cheap or free calls everywhere in the world
e) I can have ADSL speeds on the go (HSDPA is currently at 1.8Mbps in Italy, but the modem 3 Italia gives you can go up to 7.2!! note: the speed is limited by the BT2.0 max rate: around 750kbit/s )
f) I get full Internet access
g) SIP / Skype / GIZMO clients are everywhere: the numbers follow you on your next device

What do you think ?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'm in US, and have not seriously looked for such a plan. But, I have been thinking of getting a data-only plan and doing precisely as you suggest. It makes sense, if you can find such a plan at a decent price.

Unknown said...

The one I am suggesting (in Italy) does exist.
The bigger problem is it's availability around the country...

VC said...

I've been thinking about the same thing for a few months now, unfortunately here in Canada wireless networks are not so well developed as in Europe. So, I would definetely suggest to give it a try. VOIP provides much more features and CHEAP!!!
I also thinking that cell phones are not good for health, nobody still knows what is exact impact on the brain when people use cell phones too often. (Which is actually "on the go" scenario we are discussing)
The only problem I can foresee here is mobility - you've got to be connected to Internet constantly, otherwise you can miss phone calls to your VOIP....
Please let me know how it works if you tried - I'm going to try it one day anyways.

Unknown said...

I tried, a bit, but doesn't work out as a good substitute for regular phone usages.

You can do it, but you've got to deal with battery issues (the bt connection drops down quite frequently. so the tablet has got to re-connect often, thus draining the battery of both devices).
This leads to missed calls, missed messages and you should keep an eye on it every now and then.

This, however, could work a lot better with the upcoming Maemo 5 device.

We'll see.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

VC said...

Thanks for the update.
Besides connectivity issues, were you able to measure the network traffic while using VOIP?
In other words, let's take as an example 5 Gb/month data plan - would it be sufficient to substitute the regular cell phone use?

VC said...

I've recently done it - setup of the VOIP over 3G. Works like a charm with Skype and my VOIP provider. I measured the traffic - it is very low, less than ~500 KB/minute.

VC said...

I was able to set it up (VOIP over 3G) and very pleased by results - traffic is very low <500K/minute. I tried it with both Skype and my VOIP provider web call.